The AWP kicked off two significant, related initiatives in Stockholm at the World Water Week in August:
- The first in a series of coordinated efforts to place the management of water scarcity and drought on the international agenda – and to highlight Australia’s expertise in this area – was in a workshop co-sponsored with the US Water Partnership.
- Launch of the first core resources to be developed by the AWP: two chapters of The Australian Water Narrative, both authored by Prof Jane Doolan, and several ‘Framing Papers’ to help set the agenda for the UN/World Bank High-Level Panel on Water.
Water Scarcity & Drought Workshop
A workshop titled ‘Building Resilience for Water Scarcity and Drought – Innovative Solutions and Lessons Learned‘ was held convening experts from government agencies, universities, private companies and civil society, to:
- Discuss the potential for breakthrough technologies, policies, demand-side management and financing mechanisms to contribute to building drought resilience;
- Initiate an on-going international knowledge and experience-sharing dialogue on water scarcity and drought management;
- Identify key knowledge gaps and opportunities to facilitate more focused research and innovation by engaging entrepreneurs, experts and other solutions providers
- Assist practitioners and decision makers currently facing critical water shortages by sharing examples of best practices, lessons learned and policy recommendations for drought resilient water systems.
Selected thought leaders and experts will frame discussions of key information trends, followed by interaction with participants for collaborative problem-solving. A summary statement was developed to inform related efforts at the World Water Congress in Brisbane on October 9 – 14, 2016.
Australian Water Narrative & HLPW Framing Papers
The Australian Water Narrative is intended to capture the thirty-year journey of water reform in Australia in a series of short, inter-linked high-level summaries covering the key steps in reform across a range of sectors and topics. The narratives are written by senior, experienced ex-water managers. The first two narratives, both written by Prof. Jane Doolan, were launched in Stockholm:
- The Australian Water Reform Journey: An overview of three decades of policy, management and institutional transformation – Traces how water policy, management and institutional arrangements have been transformed in Australia over the past three decades. Distils the key elements of the reform journey and lessons learned in conducting reforms.
- Building Resilience to Drought: The Millenium Drought and Water Reform in Australia – Australia’s Millennium Drought (1997–2009) severely tested new arrangements developed during a multi-decadal program of water reform and lead to a new set of arrangements for dealing with drought and water scarcity. The drought ultimately played a key role in progressing water reform and building resilience to future water scarcity.
The HLPW Framing Papers, written by senior industry and academic experts, were provided as ‘framing notes’ to the Secretariat of the UN/World Bank High-Level Panel on Water (HLPW), to contribute to their efforts to set an agenda. They were written and published to very tight deadlines and are published as provided to the HLPW.
- Valuing Water -n Huw Pohlner, Simon Hone, Will Fargher, and Chris Olszak of Aither identify the state of global practice in valuing water, describe how valuation has been integrated into water management to achieve more efficient, equitable and sustainable outcomes, and provide options to spark global action within an SDG timeframe to improve water management by making more effective use of valuation.
- Human Settlements – Professor Tony Wong describes how Integrated Water Cycle Management can be used to address emerging global water management challenges to do with urbanisation as populations grow, environments become degraded, climate uncertainty increases, and resources are constrained.
- Building Resilient Economies and Communities Through the Effective Management of Water Scarcity and Drought – Professor Jane Doolan describes approaches to managing drought and water scarcity for the 40% of the world’s population facing these problems.